A Reflection for Valentine’s Day

I guess we spend quite a lot of our lives seeking love. But how do we know when we have found it? How do we know we are loved? And how do we keep on knowing that in a way that sustains us?

I am noting below little snatches of thought about those who, now, are wound into my life most closely. 

To my partner and spouse:

I have been trying to understand what it is we have together, this shared life. If we put aside all our hopes and desires, what is it we actually have, in the here and now? Where have we got to, from where we started? 

I want to try to appreciate the things that rarely pass between us in words:  

You go with me to the party (the life event, whatever it is), and you are there at the end, long after everyone else has gone home, and left the inessentials behind. 

You have all the reason to criticise (you are familiar with all my faults), but most often you choose not to. You make it possible for me to ‘be’ with you. 

There was a reason why we came together in the beginning, and remembering those times feels like a shared secret that holds the key to our present. 

As ever, to be continued… 

To my baby daughter: 

When I finally lay you down to sleep at night, I often have a sudden surge of wanting to say a prayer for you, almost as if I haven’t thought of it until then and now I want it to be just right. Until that moment, my attention is all caught up with ensuring sleep; it certainly isn’t assured until the very last second when I let go. But then when we have made it, what do I say; what to ask for? 

Recently in that long pre-sleep stage, as we waited in the dark and you wriggled around in my arms, there was a moment when suddenly you fell into a position where you were comfortable – and I felt like this was the prayer. This is what I want to communicate to you: that you can rest here, that this is where it will always be OK. 

To my little preschooler: 

I think loving you is about being a constant, the point that tries to remain still as your own brain catapults its way through the days. I think you’re not always sure if you want me to be there, but here I am, waiting for you. Love is like that. 


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